Live Nation Expands Down Under

Getty Images

30-year music promotion veteran Michael Coppel will head up Live Nation Australasia after selling his self-named business to the US giant.

SYDNEY - Michael Coppel, one of Australia’s major music promoters, will head up Live Nation’s business in Australia and New Zealand after the international giant announced Wednesday it had acquired Coppel’s Melbourne based company, Michael Coppel Presents.

PHOTOS: The Top 25 Concert Tours of 2011: THR Year in Review

MCP, which is handling Lady Gaga’s Australia and New Zealand tour in June, locally sells in excess of 1.7 million tickets a year. The promoter holds the record for the one of the biggest tours ever down under, when Pink had a 58-date sellout arena tour which yielded over 658,000 ticket sales in 2009.

No purchase price for MCP was announced. With the acquisition, Live Nation is aiming for a bigger piece of Australia’s $1 billion-plus music pie.

The live music industry here injected $1.21 billion into the national economy, with total profits and wages of $652 million and supported almost 15,000 full-time jobs, according to a first-time study released late in 2011 by copyright societies APRA and AMCOS.

Michael Rapino, president and chief executive officer of Live Nation said of the move, “We have worked with Michael Coppel on a number of tours over the years and are now extremely pleased to be welcoming such a well respected and successful promoter into our international network. Australia is the 6th largest music market in the World and an increasingly important touring market for international artists. It represents a significant part of our opportunity for international growth.”

“I am delighted to be joining Live Nation and look forward to working with Luke, Roger and my current team, together with the touring teams in Los Angeles and London to firmly establish Live Nation as the leading promoter in Australia and New Zealand,” added Coppel.

MCP is also currently coordinating tours for guitar maestros Joe Satriani, Steve Vai and Steve Lukather, and has already handled Taylor Swift, Incubus, Ronan Keating and Roger Taylor’s The Wall tours in 2012.

Coppel becomes president and CEO of the new business which, when the acquisition is complete, will be re-named Live Nation Australasia. LN’s current Australian-based executives, Luke Hede and Roger Field, will continue to serve as vice presidents of promotions.